From protest to action: what is the Trump opposition planning?
As anti-Trump protests continue following the election Tuesday, groups threatened by a Trump presidency are mobilizing their plans and their resources.
Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP
As thousands continue to gather in the public squares of America’s largest cities to protest the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, activists have started to mobilize for what they expect to be a long four years.
“It’s not just saying that we’re against Trump,” Ron Gochez, an organizer with the immigrants’ rights group Union del Barrio, told The New York Times. “We have to defend ourselves against the policies he’s promising to create.”
Union del Barrio in Los Angeles is far from alone in its approach. Groups that advocate for immigrants, people of color, Muslims, LGBTQ people, women, and the environment have all started to draft organizational and legislative plans and fundraise in order to sustain their causes. Meanwhile, their supporters have emptied their pocketbooks and volunteered their time to ensure these groups are able to continue their missions through the next presidency – showing one way to turn anti-Trump feelings into a different form of nonviolent demonstration, even as the Trump campaign calls on Hillary Clinton and President Obama to calm the "not my president" protests.
For now, though, much of the focus is still on marches. Demonstrations continued over the weekend in America’s three largest cities – New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago – over the election of Mr. Trump. In one of the largest rallies since Trump won Tuesday, a mass of protesters marched from Union Square in Manhattan to Trump Tower, the president-elect’s headquarters and home.
Thousands – from transgender people, to children of immigrants, to college-aged and high school students – have also demonstrated in Oakland, Calif., Baltimore, Kansas City, Mo., Milwaukee, Miami, and Portland, Ore.
Not all the demonstrations have remained peaceful, however. A man was shot in the leg during anti-Trump protests in Portland, Ore. In other cities, crowds have clashed with police, smashed windows, and burned trashcans.
The Trump campaign has repeatedly called for a peaceful end to the protests. In his acceptance speech in the early hours of Wednesday morning, president-elect Trump called on Americans to “bind the wounds of division.” Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s campaign manager, called on Mrs. Clinton, President Obama, and other Democratic leaders Sunday to calm supporters and encourage a peaceful transition of power.
Trump is “there for them. And he is going to be a president that listens and takes the counsel of many different people, including those from the other side of the aisle,” Ms. Conway told Chuck Todd on NBC's “Meet the Press” on Sunday.
Yet, as these protest continue, organizations whose missions are threatened by Trump’s campaign promises and a Republican-controlled Congress are preparing for their futures in different ways.
Starting the day after the presidential election, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) started to post a series of bold Tweets.
The ACLU has repeatedly pledged to contest Trump if his administration follows through on promises such as the deportation of undocumented immigrants, the ban of Muslims from entering the country, and the punishment of women who receive abortions.
In a “60 Minutes” interview scheduled to air Sunday night, Trump said he plans to immediately deport about 2 to 3 million undocumented immigrants.
Groups that serve immigrants and minorities have started to prepare action plans to combat anti-immigration polices as well as rising discrimination. Union del Barrio, the immigrants’ rights group in Los Angeles, for instance, plans to gather with community organizations to discuss how to respond to mass deportations. It also plans to train undocumented immigrants how use their cellphones if immigration enforcement agents show up at their door, according to The New York Times.
These responses, as well as much of the kindling feeding anti-Trump protests, are out of concern of the effects of the Trump campaign, as the Christian Science Monitor’s Jessica Mendoza wrote last week:
Interviews with women, people of color, immigrants, and members of the LGBTQ community across the country reveal deep-seated fears that Trump’s words and behavior have too often embodied what they have spent their lives opposing: racism, sexism, homophobia, and a white patriarchy that for centuries has shared its power only reluctantly.
But fears these communities have expressed have also lead to public outpourings of support for some of the groups that serve them. The Trevor Project, for instance, received over $70,000 in donations in 24 hours, according to Forbes. The group provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth. Katy Perry, the pop star, was one of numerous donors to Planned Parenthood since Tuesday, giving $10,000 in support to the women's health organization.
This grassroots support could also spur Americans efforts to combat rising global temperatures, as the president-elect and his administration deny climate change.
"By making the issue a small one – not worth a dollar of spending in his policy agenda – Mr. Trump appears likely to make it a bigger one than ever in the public square," writes the Monitor's Mark Trumbull. "Environmental groups are already pledging pitched battle against the president-elect’s plan to boost fossil fuels as a driver of the economy."
"So, yes, Trump may try to follow through on pledges of major support for the fossil fuels, pulling America out of the Paris agreement to reduce carbon emissions, and trying to stop spending federal money on climate change," continues Mr. Trumbull.
But it's possible his positions will evolve or be constrained, in part, because of public opinion, he writes.